As the issue of bullying came up anew in the news, Baguio City’s biggest village, Barangay Irisan, has activated a sub-committee focused on the protection of children from various dangers like bullying.
Barangay Irisan, with a population of over 30,000, has organized children aged nine to 14 to be directly involved in the Sub-Committee on Bright Child (SCBC) under the Barangay Council for the Protection of Children (BCPC).
The children-focused sub-committee of the barangay was mandated by the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) many years ago, but Barangay Irisan now deems it necessary to activate it amid serious issues involving children.
“We need to organize the youth so that they will be included in the programs of the barangay,” Barangay Irisan Chairman Arthur Carlos said in an interview on the sidelines of the village children’s general assembly on Thursday, December 27,2018.
Carlos said the organization of the children is part of the local government’s efforts to involve them in its programs, empower them, and to enable them to protect themselves, such as in incidents of bullying. The primary aim of the BCPC is to protect the children, thus the need for the young sector’s involvement, he said.
The village chief added that the children’s attention needs to be focused and diverted from activities that may affect them or their studies. “There will be several programs for the youth to divert their attention and to prevent them from wasting their time,” Carlos said.
He noted that the formation of the BCPC will boost the barangay’s implementation of programs and projects for the youth. These will include lectures and workshops to prevent them from being victims of bullying, as well as from bullying others and to ensure they will become better persons.
Carlos told the children-participants that the BCPC is aimed at making them involved in the community.
“There are laws for you, kids, whether in school or in the village. Do not bully your classmates, so that you will not be brought to your school council or the barangay,” he warned the young ones.
According to Carlos, cases of bullying and crimes involving children in the village are brought to the barangay hall for mediation, where the council issues “advisory” or admonition against the perpetrators.
Barangay Councilor Jenny Luna said during the assembly of the children that the formation of the BCPC has long been an existing order of the DILG, but it is the first time the village is implementing it.
DILG Memorandum Circular 2001-52 was issued in 2004. It mandates all levels of government to create a sub-committee in every barangay for the protection of children, which would be called the Sub-Committee on Bright Child (SCBC).
The memorandum states that the key challenges facing young children in the country remain to be directly related to health, nutrition, and early psychosocial stimulation or childhood education.
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